The People vs OJ Simpson tv series

american-crime-story-people-vs-oj-simpsonReviewers talk about the series being undecided about OJ Simpson’s guilt, but episode 10 does give far more credence to him being so.
The documentaries (including by the BBC) that raise significant concerns about the Police handling of OJ Simpson’s blood, and the changes to scenes of the crime (such as the blood stains in Simpson’s bronco) are not given significant weight.

The TV series is terrific viewing however, making huge and powerful messages about racism and sexism.  About money, celebrity and the media too.
Of course the series is unrealistic, most profoundly in seeing the characters speak with clarity and conviction when watching the original proceedings on the internet shows they were anything but.
Enough did come from the series to show that the prosecution team were not good enough (the scene handling, the significance they gave to using Mark Fuhrman, and yes the melodrama over the glove; if only LAPD had had a real life Columbo).

But taking a step back, there are a bigger messages, one of which is particularly pertinent to Britain.
* TV in the court room.  We don’t have the privilege of seeing the process of justice in action.  And it is wrong, but with caveats – witnesses should perhaps not be shown and proceedings shouldn’t be transmitted until after the verdict is reached.
* The justice system works too hard on the adversary, and not enough to work at establishing the truth.  And it takes too long.  (Similar points can be drawn from a recent BBCtv 4 programme on a child killed by a car.)

Returning to the TV series, praise for a lot of the acting, but not for Cuba Gooding Jr who needed to be more like OJ (deeper voice, more deliberative), nor John Travolta, although Shapiro is relatively strange in real life.
And a confession.  I was part of that mood that took against the lead prosecutor Marcia the time. Well this tv series taught me a lesson on that.  And Sarah Poulson was just so watchable playing her.

This has been a great tv series.


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